Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: October/November 1993
Date of birth: 1970
Victims profile: Richard Rosenbluth, 40, and his wife Rebecca, 35 / Sheryl L. Stack, 20
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Virginia, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Virginia on December 9, 1999

United States Court of Appeals
For the Fourth Circuit

opinion 99-4

Commonwealth of Virginia

opinion 942189 & 942192 opinion 950948
clemency petition

Mark Arlo Sheppard and Andre Graham were convicted of the double murders of a Chesterfield County Virginia couple. 

Richard Rosenbluth, 40, and Rebecca Rosenbluth, 35, were killed in their home on November 28, 1993. The Rosenbluths had been buying cocaine from Sheppard and Graham. 

The couple's bodies were found in the den of their home. Richard had been shot twice in the head; his wife, Rebecca was shot 4 times in the head and neck from close range. 

Sheppard was executed for these murders in January 1999.  Graham received a life sentence + 23 years in these murders. 

He was sentenced to die for the shotgun murder of Sheryl L. Stack, 20 on 10/8/93.  Sheryl was a waitress at a Steak & Ale and was shot in the parking lot for her car.  She died two days later. 

Graham also shot a 23-year-old man, who survived his injuries but lost an eye and most of the use of one arm and leg and suffers from brain damage.  Graham was convicted of a maiming charge in this case. 


Andre Graham & Mark Arlo Shepperd

On 11/28/93, Mark Arlo Sheppard and his companion Andre Graham shot and killed Richard and Rebecca Rosenbluth. 

Their bodies were found two days later. Richard, 40, had been shot twice in the face and Rebecca, 34, had been shot four times in the head and neck. 

Sheppard was 22 at the time of the murders and had a history of violence reaching back to when he was nine years old. 

Sheppard admitted to being at the scene of the murders (his fingerprints were found in 61 spots) but says that Graham killed the couple.  Sheppard is also a suspect in about ten other murders. 

In December 1994, Sheppard was sentenced to death. 

Rosenbluth and Sheppard had known each other for some time before the murder. Sheppard said he had sold cocaine to the victim on numerous occasions and Rosenbluth owed him a lot of money.

Sheppard testified that he and 2 partners, Andre Graham and Benji Vaughan, went to the Rosenbluth home early in the morning of the murders.

Circumstantial evidence alluded to Sheppard's possession of the gun. A few weeks prior to the murder, Sheppard had accidentally shot Vaughan with the gun that was used to kill Rosenbluth and his father had seen it in his room a few days before the crime. The jury convicted Sheppard and sentenced him to death. 

The appellate court denied Sheppard's appeal stating that the conflicting testimony on whether he was the actual perpetrator of the murders presented a credibility question for the jury to resolve. Obviously, the jury in weighing the evidence refused to accept defendant's denial of guilt.

While attempting to prove future dangerousness, the prosecution brought out a maimed witness from a previous unadjudicated crime of Sheppard's.

Graham was convicted of killing Mrs. Rosenbluth and was given a life sentence.  The bodies of the couple were found in the den of their suburban Chesterfield County home.

Richard Rosenbluth, 40, had been shot twice in the head; his wife, Rebecca Rosenbluth, 35, hit 4 times in the head and neck from close range. 

Witnessing will be Stanley and Phyllis Rosenbluth of Arlington County. "People have asked me, 'Why do you want to go? Why do you want to witness?'" said Mr. Rosenbluth, a plump, avuncular man, 72 years old with a white mustache and a New York accent.

Watching Sheppard die is not about retribution, he said. "You (take) someone's life, and you pay the consequences. It's not as if you didn't know what you were doing. There's no revenge. There's no vengeance," he said.

Watching Sheppard die is not about forgiveness. His wife, 68, asked, "Why would I forgive someone who, first of all never asked to be forgiven? At no time during the trial did I hear anyone ever say that they were sorry...or asked for forgiveness."

Watching Sheppard die is not some vain attempt at closure. "Don't use that word with me. I hate that word. I don't know who made that word up," she said. "There is no closure. So many people don't seem to understand that: There is no closure," she said.

Mr. Rosenbluth asked, "How can there be closure on a life sentence? We're both serving a life sentence."

Instead, watching Sheppard die is a duty, of sorts, they said. To people who ask why he wants to watch the execution, "I say, 'I really don't. But when somebody wrongs your child you're going to do everything to right that wrong as much as you can do,'" he said.

"I feel this way, I've done, up to this point, everything that I can humanly do to right the wrong for my child. The last act is coming up. "What it is, is my a parent to my child," he said. "This is the last thing I can do for him to right that wrong."

Mrs. Rosenbluth said, "You have to understand, it's not a big thing in my life to go to this execution. It's just that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in."

Richard and Rebecca Rosenbluth died in their Chesterfield County home on Nov. 28, 1993, gunned down by Sheppard and Andre Graham who had been selling them cocaine.

The 2 killers stole the couple's vehicles and some personal items before fleeing the house.

Sheppard was sentenced to death for the crime. Andre Graham got life plus 23 years. Graham is also facing the death penalty for another capital murder he committed.

The bodies were discovered several days later by police when Rebecca's employer, alerted by a concerned Rosenbluth, went to check on the couple at their home.

Richard grew up in Northern Virginia. He was a bright child. He started college at East Carolina University and then attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He was a musician, a percussionist, his parents said.

Richard met Rebecca when he was playing with a band in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and they married in 1987. "This was the daughter I never had. I can't really describe it," Mr. Rosenbluth said.

"She was a very loving girl, and a very beautiful girl. She fit right into the family." Rebecca's mother, Louise Dillon of Montgomery, W.Va., said without explanation that she will not be attending the execution.

However, she said, "I just hope that this goes through on the 20th." Dillon said she still misses her daughter very much. "She was a beautiful young lady....She was just a joy to be around. A beautiful smile. She was just a lovely young lady."

Rebecca went to high school in West Virginia and was living in Myrtle Beach when she met Richard, her mother said.

Mr. Rosenbluth said his son tried his hand at making a living through music, but "he finally decided that, hey, it's time I have to do something else."

He went into the coffee service business. He started out working sweeping floors in a warehouse for The Coffee Butler, moving his way up management and eventually winding up in Richmond as regional manager.

Rebecca was a secretary at Air Distribution Sales Inc. "Richard was a very good young man," Mrs. Rosenbluth said. "He was a very caring person up until the day he was taken away."

Though they maintained frequent contact, the Rosenbluths lived 100 miles from their son and his wife. They said they had no hint either had a drug habit.

Finding out about it and having it aired publicly in the trial was difficult. "It was horrible. Horrible," Mrs. Rosenbluth said.

According to a Virginia Supreme Court summary of the trial evidence, "The victims' personal records showed that, during the several months immediately preceding their deaths, the couple made substantial cash withdrawals and credit card charges averaging hundreds of dollars per day, apparently to support their addiction to the drug."

Stanley said, "There was no reason for it. They were starting to make it, the typical American couple. What would make you think? There were no signs, there were no signs."

She said, "I still find it hard to believe about the drugs. I'm not disputing it, but I can't find a reason. Why? They had everything they wanted, except a child."

The Rosenbluths said their son and his wife were trying to have a baby. "I think they would have made great parents," he said.

They last saw Richard and Rebecca on Thanksgiving. The couple had to return to Richmond on Friday, and they spoke on the phone.

Mrs. Rosenbluth remembered chatting over the phone with Rebecca that Saturday morning. It was the last contact they had.

The Rosenbluths could not get an answer at their son's house on Sunday or Monday, so on Tuesday morning he called Rebecca's employer.

Then, "It's like a quarter to one and the doorbell rings. There are 3 Arlington County police officers and...they came in and they told us," Mr. Rosenbluth said.

Mrs. Rosenbluth said, "You're in a state of shock... You don't even have the time to mourn" because there are funeral arrangements to make, police investigators to meet with and media questions to answer.

When asked what it was like those first few days, she said, "I try and answer honestly. Looking back, everything is a blur, it's one big blur. You've got a big ache in your heart. That's all you can feel."

Mr. Rosenbluth said that at "The 1st trial, Andre Graham, when he was given life imprisonment, I flipped. I flipped out, because the jury wasn't told that life imprisonment meant you were eligible for parole."

"I didn't do anything then because we had the other trial coming up. Sheppard's trial. After Sheppard got the death penalty, I said, 'How do we correct this?...I didn't feel it was right that the jury didn't have all the information in order to come back with a proper sentence" in the Graham case.

He contacted then-Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Jerry W. Kilgore, who suggested he speak at a town hall meeting scheduled that week on then-Gov. George Allen's plan for abolishing parole and establishing truth in sentencing.

"They asked me if I'd like to go to that meeting" and speak. "I said, 'Yes.'" "After the meeting, 25 homicide victims (family members) got together, this was in November '94, to discuss whether there was a need for an umbrella organization" for several crime victims organizations in the state.

As a result, they formed Virginians United Against Crime, a victims' advocacy group. Mr. Rosenbluth, the group's president, said he threw himself in the organization's work as a form of therapy.

Among other things, the group supported Allen's parole abolition and truth in sentencing reforms and supported the crime victim's rights bill. Among the many reforms the effort led to were true life sentences.

The Rosenbluths have kept busy as the final act in their son's murder approaches. "The fact of the matter is, the execution of this animal does not bring my children back, my son and his wife back," Mrs. Rosenbluth said.

"Nothing will ever bring them back. "The only thing that I feel that this will do is, it will stop this animal from ever doing this again to somebody else. "It's the final deterrent, that's all there is to it." It will not stop the pain.

Mr. Rosembluth said, "If you talk to victims, and they're honest with you, they'll tell you it doesn't matter how many years go by. "You're walking down the street, you're sitting in a room, you hear a voice. You say, 'My God, there's (his) voice.' Or you look around, you see somebody looks like him. This never goes away." This never goes away."

Mrs. Rosenbluth said, "I can't even come to terms with myself that I'm never going to see Richard again. "Every time the damn phone rings I still think it might be them calling."


Andre L. Graham

The Virginia Supreme Court thoroughly summarized the evidence as follows:

After finishing their work at the Steak and Ale Restaurant... in south Richmond on the night of October 7, 1993, Stack drove her Volvo sedan and Martin drove his red sports car to another restaurant in Richmond where they had something to eat. James Jones, the night auditor of a motel adjacent to the Steak and Ale Restaurant parking lot, was standing outside the motel talking to another employee when he saw Stack and Martin return to the parking lot after 2:00 a.m. on October 8.

Jones noticed Stack and Martin standing beside one of the two cars talking and kissing until Jones returned to work inside the motel. Twenty to twenty-five minutes later, Jones heard two loud noises, "two or three seconds [apart], maybe up to ten seconds" and saw a third car being driven from the area.

When Jones looked toward the parking lot, he noticed that the Volvo's engine was running and its lights were on, but that the red sports car was gone. As he walked toward the Volvo, Jones noticed a body lying on the ground and immediately called the police.

Harold Giles, a Richmond Police officer ... got Jones's call ... and ... found Stack and Martin, both shot in the head, lying face down in a pool of blood, with their hands touching. Giles testified that "they were trying to communicate to each other, but I couldn't make out what they were saying." In addition to observing that the Volvo's engine was running and its lights were on, Giles also noticed that the front passenger door was open....

When Detective Thomas R. Searles arrived at the scene at "approximately" 6:00 a.m., Stack and Martin had been taken to the hospital.... One photograph of the front seat of Stack's car shows that it had been ransacked, with Stack's personal property and purse in disarray in the front seat. Searles found a .45 caliber cartridge case and two .45 caliber bullets that were approximately one foot apart.

Stack was comatose when she arrived at the hospital and died some time later without regaining consciousness. Although Martin had been shot in the head and suffered extensive brain injuries, he survived and was able to testify.

Dr. William Broaddus, a neurosurgeon who treated Martin, testified that the bullet ... damaged the left side of his brain, resulting in Martin's loss of his left eye, a partial paralysis on the right side of his body, and an impairment in his ability to generate language. However, Dr. Broaddus said that Martin's comprehension, memory, and intelligence were perfectly normal....

Martin testified that he and Stack were seated in her car in the parking lot when a man Martin later identified from a photographic spread as Graham approached the car. Graham had a gun and told them to get out of the car. After Stack and Martin got out of the car, Graham told Martin to hand over his wallet and car keys to another man who was with him, but unarmed. As Graham held "the gun on [Stack and Martin]," the other man first got in Stack's car and started it, then got in Martin's car, where ... the other man "saw" Martin's compact disc recordings (CDs). While the other man was in Martin's car, Graham told Stack and Martin that if they would lie down on the parking lot and close their eyes, he would not hurt them. Even though both did as they were directed, they were each shot in the head as they lay on the ground with their eyes closed.2

2 Authorities suspected Mark Sheppard, a friend of Graham's, to be Graham's accomplice. Graham, too, asserts that Sheppard was his accomplice. And, the Commonwealth suggested during summation at the close of the guilt phase of trial that Sheppard was the other assailant. Indeed, the two had a history of violent crime together. Sheppard was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the murders of Richard and Rebecca Rosenbluth. See Sheppard v. Commonwealth, 464 S.E.2d 131 (Va. 1995). Graham also was convicted of capital murder in the Rosenbluth murders, but he received a life sentence. See Graham v. Commonwealth, 464 S.E.2d 128 (Va. 1995). Sheppard, however, was not charged in connection with the murder of Sheryl Stack.

Although Martin does not remember how long it was after he closed his eyes that he was shot, Graham was the last person Martin saw with a gun before he closed his eyes. After he was shot, Martin realized that his "car was being started and the car was coming at [him] so[he] quickly rolled over to get out of the way of the car." After they were shot, Stack and Martin were holding hands and he was trying to talk to her.

Priscilla Booker, who had been living with Graham ... since early July 1993, testified that on the morning of Stack's murder, she saw Graham in the same red car as that shown in a police photograph of Martin's car. Later that morning, as Booker was watching the news on a local television station, she mentioned to Graham the reports of the shooting in the Steak and Ale parking lot. Graham's response was, "why do [you] worry about other people."

Graham then asked Booker to stop looking at the news and, when she continued to do so, he became upset. When Booker asked Graham why she should not watch the news, he replied that "he knew who did it[,] but he didn't."

Two or three days after the Stack murder, Booker found Martin's box of over 200 CDs in the trunk of her car. Graham told her that he had bought these CDs for $10, and Booker put them in storage. The police recovered Martin's car a few days after the crimes, but were unable to obtain any useful fingerprint evidence from it.

On the morning of December 3, 1993, Graham, who was incarcerated in the Chesterfield County jail on another charge, made a telephone call to Booker in the presence of Gary McGregor, a Chesterfield County deputy sheriff. Graham told Booker several times during the conversation to "go into the closet, get the bag with the contents and get rid of it." McGregor immediately reported this conversation to his superiors. Shortly thereafter, Detective W.F. Showalter of the Chesterfield County Police Department went to Booker's apartment. There he found a .45 caliber pistol in a plastic bag in a linen closet.

The gun was heavily oiled, and the police were unable to recover any fingerprints from it. However, Booker testified that she had seen the transaction in which Graham had obtained the gun in September 1993, and that since that time, Graham had kept it in his constant possession. Booker testified that Graham even slept with it. After examining the gun, the bullets, and the cartridge case found at the scene, Ann Davis Jones, a firearms identification expert, testified that Graham's gun was the weapon from which the bullets and the cartridge case found at the scene had been fired and ejected.

The police found Martin's CDs in a storage locker rented by Booker's mother. The CDs were examined by Leland W. Kennedy, a fingerprint expert, who testified that 31 of the 48 identifiable fingerprints found on the CDs were those of Graham.

Graham v. Commonwealth, 459 S.E.2d 97, 98-100 (Va. 1995)


Andre Graham, 29, 99-12-09, Virginia

Andre Graham was executed Thursday night for an October 1993 robbery and slaying outside a Richmond restaurant, despite claims from 2 other death row inmates that an accomplice said Graham wasn't the triggerman.

Graham, 29, was put to death by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center for the slaying of Sheryl Stack. He was pronounced dead at 9:04 p.m.

Graham shook his head no when asked if he had a final statement.

Outside the rural prison's main gate, about a half dozen death penalty opponents held candles as the execution hour approached.

Less than an hour before the execution, Gov. Jim Gilmore rejected Graham's clemency petition, noting that Ms. Stack was killed execution-style. The U.S. Supreme Court also denied a stay late in the day.

Ms. Stack's boyfriend, Edward Martin, also was shot but lived and identified Graham as the gunman who approached the couple that night, ordered them out of the car and onto the ground, and promised not to hurt them if they closed their eyes.

Martin's eyes were closed when he was shot, but he testified that Graham was the last person he saw with a gun. Graham maintains that his accomplice, Mark Sheppard, shot Ms. Stack and Martin.

A death row inmate, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he had overheard Sheppard say Graham was innocent.

The inmate said he heard Sheppard, whose nickname was "Rock," talking to another inmate about Graham, who was known as ``Panama." The inmate said, "Rock said, 'You know, Panama shouldn't even be here. Panama didn't even pull the trigger. He was just there.'"

Federal death row inmate James Henry Roane, Jr., who spent time on Virginia's death row, said Sheppard had told him the same story one day when they were in the prison yard.

Sheppard was executed in January for an unrelated double slaying.

Graham was charged with the crime after he tried to get a roommate to get rid of the .45-caliber murder weapon that was hidden in Graham's apartment.

"Death row inmates have nothing better to do than perpetuate lies and myths about 3rd-party killers, last-minute evidence and a host of other smoke screens to try to avoid the death penalty,'' said David Botkins, a spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley. "Rather than trying to tie the legal system in knots at the last minute, they should be seeking forgiveness and apologizing to the victim's family."

Graham's attorney, Jeff Stredler, said they have a letter from Sheppard to Graham in which Sheppard concedes that Graham didn't shoot the couple.

Graham becomes the 14th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Virginia, and the 73rd overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. The 14 executions are the most in any year in Virginia since the death penalty was re-legalized in 1976. Virginia trails only Texas in the number of condemned inmates put to death in the USA since 1977.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)



USA (Virginia) Andre L. Graham, black, aged 29

November 30, 1999

Andre Graham is scheduled to be executed on 9 December 1999 in Virginia. He was sentenced to death in 1994 for the murder of Sheryl Stack. If executed, he will be the 14th prisoner to be put to death in Virginia this year, the highest annual total since the state resumed executions in 1982.

In the early hours of 8 October 1993, Sheryl Stack and Edward Martin, both white, were shot in the head in a car park after being approached by at least two assailants, who then drove off in Martin's car. Sheryl Stack was killed, but Edward Martin survived.

Edward Martin identified Andre Graham as one of the assailants in a photo line-up. He then testified at trial that Graham was the last person he had seen with a gun, and forensic evidence indicated that it was Graham's gun which had been used. Martin was unable to say, however, how much time passed between him and Sheryl Stack being told to lie face down on the ground and the shots being fired. He also testified that another man, Mark Sheppard, had been one of the assailants. Sheppard was not charged in connection with this crime; he was sentenced to death for another murder and executed in January 1999.

Edward Martin had failed to pick Sheppard out in a photo line-up and instead picked someone else not involved in the crime. Despite the fact that this error undermined his credibility as an eyewitness, it was not disclosed to the defence until it emerged during the trial in cross-examination of a police witness. Post-conviction appeals, on the grounds that the defence lawyers should have immediately called for a postponement of proceedings, have been unsuccessful. The defence lawyers also failed to tell the jury that Andre Graham had a constitutional right not to testify at the trial, and that his decision not to testify should not be used against him. This was a serious oversight given the possibility that a juror might interpret a defendant's failure to testify as an admission of guilt.

Graham does not deny being present at the crime, but has always denied being the gunman. Before the judge sentenced him to death, he stated there were ''three of us there'' and denied shooting Stack and Martin. Under Virginia law, only the person who fires the gun (the ''triggerman'') can be sentenced to death. On appeal, Andre Graham's lawyers have argued that letters sent to him on death row from Sheppard support his claim that he was not the triggerman. The letters contain such lines as: ''You didn't smoke [kill] those people, and I tell everybody that'' and ''Yes, it is fucked up that you're here for some shit you didn't do.'' The appeal courts have ruled that this new evidence does not meet the standard of reliability required for a successful appeal.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, irrespective of issues of guilt or innocence. Every death sentence is an affront to human dignity; every execution serves to deepen a culture of violence. The shooting of Sheryl Stack and Edward Martin was a shocking crime. An execution is likewise a cold-blooded killing of a human being who has been captured and rendered defenceless.


Virginia continues to execute prisoners at an alarming rate. Since it resumed executing in 1982, it has put 72 prisoners to death. Only Texas (195 executions), which has a population three times as large as Virginia, has executed more.

In an editorial in the Virginia newspaper, the Virginian-Pilot, on 20 November 1999, the paper asked: ''What has been gained by these deaths? Perhaps, a measure of solace for some of those who've lost loved ones in terrible brutal ways. It is tempting to say their comfort is justification enough. But punishment meted out by the state must be more than a substitute for individual revenge. It is a measure of a society's moral code, of its regard for justice, mercy, and the rule of law. It is not from sympathy for the predators who have committed atrocities that the death penalty should be abolished, but from a profound aspiration to elevate society above the killers' baseness and depravity. When the state kills in the name of justice, it makes murderers of those on whose behalf it acts.''



home last updates contact